Classic Patty Melt
Classic Patty Melt

Switch up your burger game and make a patty melt for dinner (or lunch) this week. Layer caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and a perfectly thin burger patty between toasted bread for the BEST patty melt-in-your-mouth ever!

When I go to a diner, I almost always order a classic Patty Melt. There are a few variations of this sandwich, but the version I made here is, in my opinion, the most authentic version worthy of a diner.

It’s definitely a hearty sandwich and pure comfort food in my opinion.

It’s one of those sandwiches that I don’t really make at home very often, but when I do, I wonder why I don’t make it more often?! It’s just absolutely delicious and the perfect mix between a grilled cheese and a good burger.

What is a Patty Melt?

In its simplest form, a patty melt is a thin beef patty cooked between two slices of toasted bread with cheese and onions. I assume the onions are optional, but I think they’re pretty important to a true patty melt experience.

What makes a good patty melt?

You’d think it’s the beef patty that melts a good patty. It’s definitely important – otherwise you’d just have a grilled cheese. But it’s the caramelized onions that make a patty special.

To make caramelized onions, you need to cook them slowly until the sugar breaks down, which turns the onions brown and intensifies the sweetness. I like to add a dash of apple cider vinegar to my onions to brighten the flavor.

This deep onion sweetness gives a wistful, complex flavor to a patty melt. Without them, you’d basically have a cheeseburger on toast, but the onions add a delicious sweet and tangy layer.

If you are making extra caramelized onions, you can freeze the cooked onions in ice cube trays and keep them for another day. That way, the next time a patty-melting craving strikes, you’ll already have the caramelized onions ready and save valuable time.

How to melt a patty

Cooking time might seem long for a simple sandwich, but it’s worth it! You cook a patty melt in three phases. First the onions. As said, they do take a bit of time – 25 minutes on the low end, but it could take longer, and you could definitely cook them down more.

After the onions are cooked, make and cook the patties. This is pretty quick because the patties are very thin. If you want to speed up the cooking process (and mess up an extra pan), be sure to cook the patties while the onions are caramelizing.

Finally, you put everything together and grill the sandwich in the pan!

What’s the best bread for a Patty Melt?

I personally like plain sandwich bread for my patty melts. Nothing special! I just use regular white or wheat bread and the results are wonderful. Do not think about it!

Swaps, substitutions and proposals

You can go crazy with substitutions here. I personally would definitely keep the onions, but you could add veggies like mushrooms or peppers.

You can also change the cheese to your liking, although Swiss or Provolone are pretty standard and it’s hard to go wrong.

My only suggestion for this sandwich is to take your time. Don’t do it if you are in a hurry to eat. It’s a laid-back sandwich when you have time to make some good home cooking.

What do you serve with a patty melt?

A beer.

No, but seriously, it’s really good with a cold beer! Aside from the beer, I like to serve it with light acid- or vinegar-based sides since it’s such a rich sandwich. Try cucumbers, pickles, Greek salad, green bean salad or maybe an olive salad.

More Great Ground Beef Recipes!

  • The best sloppy joes ever
  • Chipotle burger
  • Instant Pot Beef Chili
  • Beef Noodle Casserole
  • Hamburger and macaroni


Check out this delicious Patty Melt recipe

Classic Patty Melt

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
40 minutes

total time
50 minutes

2 rolls

This recipe makes enough for two people, but it’s easy to scale up or down as needed.


  • 1 sweet yellow Onionthinly sliced

  • 2 tablespoon Butter, divided

  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 8th ounces 90/10 ground beef

  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 4 slices sandwich bread

  • 4 slices Swiss cheese

  • MustardOptional


  1. Cooking onions:

    In a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon butter and sliced ​​onions. Sauté onions until deep brown in color, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the onions are burning in places, you may need to reduce the heat to medium-low.

    Toward the end of cooking (about 5 minutes), add apple cider vinegar and stir. Then remove from the pan.

  2. Cook Meatballs:

    Form ground beef into two thin 4-ounce patties roughly the shape of your bread. Season patties with salt and pepper.

    When the onions are done in your pan, turn the heat down to medium-high and add the patties. Bake 3 minutes per side. If your patties are thin, that should be enough time to cook them through. Remove the patties when done.

  3. Butter your bread:

    Wipe your pan clean and add the last tablespoon of butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add each slice of bread to the pan so that one side of each slice is coated in butter. Remove two of the four pieces of bread and start building your sandwich on the two remaining pieces in the pan (you can also do this individually depending on the size of your pan).

  4. Build your sandwiches in the pan:

    On top of each slice of bread remaining in the pan, place a slice of Swiss cheese, a patty, half the caramelized onions, and the second slice of Swiss cheese. Top each sandwich with the previously removed slice of bread, buttered side up.

  5. Prepare sandwiches:

    Cook the sandwiches over medium-high heat, 3-4 minutes per side, until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.

  6. Surcharge:

    Halve sandwiches and serve warm immediately.

nutritional information (per serving)
771 calories
45g Fat
37g carbohydrates
54g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!